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    Intern Voice: Mary’s first take on WP7

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    Hey there!

    My name's Mary and I am a university student that just started as an intern with the DPE team here at Microsoft! One of the cool perks that I get from working here is that I get to play with a Dell Venue Pro to get a feel for WP7 for the next few months!!! Coming from an iPhone 4, this is sure to be an interesting transition! Oh, and did I mention that I woke up at 4am and then lined up for 10 hours to get my iPhone 4? So yes, this will be a very interesting indeed. (If you're wondering, I got a micro-SIM card adapter to get it to work on the WP7!)

    For starters, here are some first thoughts:

    • The Dell Venue Pro has got a pretty sleek design but it is a bit bigger in comparison to the iPhone 4.
    • It also has a slide out QWERTY keyboard in addition to the on-screen keyboard… though I think I’ll prefer the touchscreen keyboard since I’ve gotten so used to it on the iPhone 4, so we will see how well the WP7 deciphers my fat finger’s typing! Haha.
    • I loooove how you can personalize the colour scheme. :) First thing I did was set my phone to a hot pink theme with the black background… Don’t judge! :P
    • I need to get used to swiping up/down to find the apps vs. left/right like on the iPhone!

    Join me as I learn to use the phone and hunt down cool apps (GAMES!) and functions on WP7! :) PLEEEASE let me know if you have any good tips on getting used to the phone, or any good recommendations on apps! :)

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    - Mary Lee

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    Get Mango Beta

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    If you’re a registered developer on the AppHub (http://create.msdn.com), you should have already acquired both Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Beta 2 and Windows Phone OS 7.1 build 7661, better known as Mango. This is a beta build, but it is stable enough to get your started on testing apps for the next OS update.

    If you’re not a registered developer… wait… what?! You’re not a registered developer?

    Alright, this is not the end of the world. Just follow these simple steps:

    • Be sure that you have a Live ID by registering on http://www.live.net.
    • Use that Live ID to register at http://create.msdn.com
    • Since you’re a student, be sure to chose Student as your entity as you’re eligible to use your DreamSpark (http://www.dreamspark.com) account to waive the registration fee.
    • Download the tools, flash your phone (be sure to follow the instructions) and start developing apps!

    As a new registrant you will have to wait patiently until the next batch of invites for the Mango beta update are sent out. This shouldn’t take more than a week or two.

    And remember, as a student you don’t pay any fees to develop for the Windows Phone 7 marketplace and yet you are allowed to monetize on your apps.

    As usual, if you have any questions, let us know.

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    Intern Voice: A Windows Phone 7 development success story by Stephanie Martel

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    Hi, my name is Stephanie and I have been a co-op at Microsoft for approximately 6 months. As a University of Waterloo student this is my last co-op before I graduate and I couldn’t have asked for a more challenging or more exciting job. Working here has brought about some amazing opportunities. I have developed some amazing friendships with other co-ops and various managers across the organization.

    I currently work on the Marketing Communications team whose primary focus is to support the promotional aspects of campaigns across the business. I have been exposed to some AMAZING stories along the way that have truly inspired me. The one story that always keeps coming back up in my head is about two University students just like you and me called Jake Poznanski and Sam Kaufmann. These two student developers started developing for the Windows Phone 7 after many attempts of trying to work with the PC Android toolkit. After a “horrifying” experience they swiftly shifted to developing for the Windows Phone 7 platform. Aside from being developers and students at a prestigious East Coast university Jake and Sam grossed over $12,000.00 from their Windows Phone 7 apps.

    I have heard of so many student developers, like Jake and Sam, talk about developing apps for the chance to make a little bit of cash on the side. The great thing about the Windows Phone 7 MarketPlace is that, unlike its competitors, it is less saturated with random apps. Apps have the opportunity to stand out on the Windows Phone 7 platform since the new platform means that there is “room for improvement among currently offered apps” (Jake and Sam, 2010).

    In my opinion a lot of Jake and Sam’s success came from being among the first in the Windows MarketPlace to create well known “staple” app games. That is why I believe the sooner we (college/university students) get our apps into the Windows MarketPlace, the more money we will potentially be able to make.

    The world is our oyster.

    Check out the full case study of Jake Poznanski and Sam Kauffman here!

    - Stephanie Martel

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    Intern Voice: Think outside your work responsibilities by Yen Ho

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    Think outside your work responsibilities

    Hey! My name is Yen and I’m a co-op student at the University of Waterloo currently interning on the Enterprise Marketing team at Microsoft. One of many reasons why I enjoy coming into work every morning is because we have a vibrant and connected co-op community – we all try to support one another in our work and volunteer initiatives, which I think fosters a fun and healthy work environment. I hope to provide some advice and pass on lessons I have learned (observations, mistakes, and all!) throughout my co-op term because as the High School Musical cast would put it “We’re all in this together”.

    Advice #1 – Try something new and conquer fears

    I am one of those students that enjoy doing presentations but oddly enough, public speaking is one of my fears along with probably every other student. Although I took a public speaking course at Waterloo that sparked an interest in completing a minor in Speech Communication, I still get nervous before presentations.

    Luckily enough on my first day, my predecessor encouraged me to join a club she was involved with - Toastmasters at Microsoft - to improve my public speaking and leadership skills and meet other employees across the organization. Needless to say, I debated for a couple of weeks before joining and it’s now a meeting I look forward too! These meetings modeled my public speaking course where the audience provides the presenter with constructive feedback in a tactful manner but this club and its members create an exceptionally supportive environment that makes you want to come back every two weeks. So far, I’ve only presented table topics where I have to present an impromptu speech on a topic chosen by the Table Topics Master (all of which revolved around the Kardashians… but that’s another story), which allowed me to build my confidence in front of my work colleagues. Through listening to other presentations and the feedback provided by the evaluators, you learn at what your audience picks up on while you’re presenting and learn how it’s important to think before you speak.

    My advice is to get yourself out there and learn something new (or refine a skill or two) because you never know what you’ll learn, what new interests you’ll pick up, and who you’ll meet. At first mention, it didn’t seem like a club I would want to join but as with every co-op term, I try to step outside of my comfort zone and do something new. Public speaking isn’t a skill used for presentations in the classroom or for work meetings, but it’s a critical soft skill that is important for us to communicate effectively with different audiences. Toastmasters has introduced me to employees who I don’t interact with on a daily basis and it has allowed me to interact with those who I do see regularly in a different context. I’m looking forward to setting a goal of completing 3 major speeches this year with Toastmasters – and I guess I have to go through with this now as it’s online ;)

    - Yen Ho

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    Neat little change on AppHub

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    Remember that irritating little detail about registering on AppHub as a student, where your identity needed to be verified in order for your account to be activated and for that to happen you had to submit an app? Hard to submit an app when you need to test it on your device, which has to be developer unlocked, a step that required an activated account.

    The remedy was simple – submit a dummy app in order to trigger the identity verification process. With the latest changes to the AppHub, that minor step is no longer required! As of the latest AppHub update, your identity is verified in real-time during your registration. No more dummy app submissions.

    If your account was in this dilemma before the update, its status has now been reverted to Step 1 of the registration process. This means that you can go through the registration again along with the new identity verification process.

    Now the marketplace is even more accessible to students like you!

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